Partners Michael Pfau and Steven Reich reached a $3 million settlement for their client in a sexual abuse suit against Seattle Public Schools.
The perpetrator, Meghan Miller, was a coach and instructional assistant at Ballard High School, where she was assigned to work with students with special needs. The plaintiff, who was 15 years old at the time of abuse, alleged in the lawsuit that Miller sexually abused her on a weekly basis beginning in 2016 through 2018, when the allegations of abuse came to light.
During the case, PCVA attorneys and co-counsel uncovered substantial evidence that Seattle Public Schools knew that Miller posed a danger to children. For example, Miller was initially hired in 2007 by Seattle Public Schools as an assistant girls’ soccer coach and basketball coach at Roosevelt High School. During her two-year tenure at Roosevelt, Miller demonstrated what her direct supervisor described as “a pattern of predatory behavior” and repeated boundary violations with students that led to her immediate termination in 2009. Despite her prior termination, Seattle Public Schools re-hired Miller in 2010 to be an assistant girls’ soccer coach at Ballard High School.
“We believe the evidence shows the Seattle Public Schools failed at every turn to prevent Miller from grooming and sexually abusing the plaintiff. We hope this settlement leads to the school district recognizing the need to implement better policies and procedures regarding the danger of sexual abuse,” said Steven.
Miller has since been arrested and charged with one count of child molestation in the third degree and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree. She was subsequently convicted and jailed, and is now a registered sex offender.
Media coverage about the settlement:
Seattle Times, “Seattle Schools settles sexual abuse lawsuit for $3 million”
Fox 13, “Seattle Public Schools settles sexual abuse lawsuit for $3 million”
King 5, “Ballard High School student gets $3 million in sexual abuse lawsuit settlement”
KOMO News, “Seattle Public Schools to pay former student $3M after sex abuse lawsuit”
KIRO News, “Seattle Public Schools settles sexual abuse lawsuit for $3 million”
Patch.com, “Seattle Public Schools Agree $3M Settlement In Sex Abuse Case”